Should Stanford University Change Its Name?

Abbeville Blog:

Stanford’s remarks in his acceptance speech as Republican gubernatorial candidate in 1859 sound pretty bad by today’s standards:

“[T]he cause in which we are engaged is one of the greatest in which any can labor. It is the cause of the white man…I am in favor of free white American citizens. I prefer free white citizens to any other race. I prefer the white man to the negro as an inhabitant to our country. I believe its greatest good has been derived by having all of the country settled by free white men.”

SO WHY STOP at RENAMING BUILDINGS (Stanford’s “Jordan Hall” currently on the chopping block) WHEN YOU SHOULD BE RENAMING THE ENTIRE UNIVERSITY?

ANY WHY STOP WITH STANFORD? FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Where did Columbia University get its name?
  • BISHOP BERKELEY (Namesake of the California city and the associated state university) was a slave owner

The blog continues:

Was California Governor and Senator Leland Stanford—founder of Stanford University—sufficiently racist to justify dropping his name from the university and destroying all publicly displayed memorials to him? Consider Stanford’s remarks, above, in his acceptance speech as the Republican Party’s gubernatorial candidate in 1859.

Readers who might try to invent an excuse for Stanford by questioning whether he was speaking sincerely, or politically, should note that the nominee’s opinions were impromptu because he added, “…I have not prepared any speech. I come here tonight without having framed in my own mind what I should say.”

Stanford’s chief reason for supporting the Republican Party on the eve of the Civil War was the Party’s advocacy for a transcontinental Railroad, for which Stanford’s Central Pacific would become a prime beneficiary. The nominee clarified in the same acceptance speech, “We are in favor of the [transcontinental] Railroad…I am in favor of the railroad and it is the policy of this state to favor that party which is likely to advance their interests.”

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